2d animations in a 3d world ?

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DominiqueBray
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2d animations in a 3d world ?

Post by DominiqueBray » Thu May 03, 2007 3:35 pm

Hello

I thought that AnimeStudioPro allows to make 2d animations in a 3d world. But now, as I am trying to do this, I realize that is not the case.
When the character layer is above the 3d landscape layer, the character will always appear in front of the landscape, even if he is behind an object.
When the character layer is below the 3d landscape layer, the character will always appear behind the landscape, whatever z value is...
So I am disappointed...

I recently heard that the whole school (and probably most of the other landscapes) in the cartoon series "Shuriken School" is actually 3d. So I was wondering what software(s) Xilam used to produced these cool vectorial-looking-3d-landscapes. I was very surprised : the series was made entirely with... Flash !!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
Personnaly, I think Flash is not made to make cartoons, and I did not even know that it has 3d features, but that is not the question.

Of course, my landscapes could be made of several vectorial/bitmap layers and I could play with z values to simulate a perspective effect. But I would like to be able to create a 3d small city and animate my 2d characters in this "world".

Did somebody succeed in using a 3d modelized world ? If yes, I am very interested in seeing it, and in learning how to do.
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Thu May 03, 2007 4:06 pm

When the character layer is above the 3d landscape layer, the character will always appear in front of the landscape, even if he is behind an object. When the character layer is below the 3d landscape layer, the character will always appear behind the landscape, whatever z value is...
Well, that's how things work - in any program. If you don't supply the software with the necessary information, it could not know which object of any rendered layer is meant to be in front.

Usually there are two different ways to integrate 2D into 3D, completely inependent from which software is used.

1. Put the 2D into the 3D in the 3D program. The 2D animation has to be completed and rendered, then placed on transparent surfaces within the 3D setup (think of this as glass panes which are always oriented to the camera, no matter how the 3D world spins around).

2. Render the 3D scenery in pieces so you have different levels (at least two), each of those with an alpha channel. This way you can easily place your 2D character level where you want it to be.
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DominiqueBray
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Post by DominiqueBray » Thu May 03, 2007 5:00 pm

Well, that's how things work - in any program. If you don't supply the software with the necessary information, it could not know which object of any rendered layer is meant to be in front.
Since AnimeStudioPro has a 3d workspace, I though it uses Z values to guess who is in front of who, and not only the layers order.

Isn't there any other solution ?

Is this feature planned for an incomming update ?

And arn't you all jalous that Flash users can make something we can't ? :wink:
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jorgy
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Post by jorgy » Thu May 03, 2007 5:33 pm

I think you need to turn on "depth sorting" under "File" -> "Project Settings". Also, you can turn on depth sorting in a group layer too.

jorgy
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Rhoel
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Re: 2d animations in a 3d world ?

Post by Rhoel » Thu May 03, 2007 6:06 pm

DominiqueBray wrote:When the character layer is above the 3d landscape layer, the character will always appear in front of the landscape, even if he is behind an object.
When the character layer is below the 3d landscape layer, the character will always appear behind the landscape, whatever z value is...
So I am disappointed...
How are you importing the 3D information - are you importing a .obj file or are you combining a rendered 3D layer?

If you are using a .obj file, then the 2D layer will appear in the 3D space, using the Z depth. This works fine and I have done this.

If you are using a 3D rendered world, then you have to matte in the 2D into the 3D world (also done this - the kind of When the Wind Blows effect).

There are some1 issues with using the .obj files but with patience, it can be done very effectively - I am experimenting with Blender (the awesome free 3D program) ... the latest version permits burned on textures which work well with ASPro. There is a 3D script which is useful for scaling and rotating the XYZ planes to match the AP coordinated. AP appears not to support interior faces: Best to construct sets as 'cinema flats' or use normals inside.

My guess is as we get better with the 3D object usage, Mike will respond to requests for better tools (such as better importers where the scale can be preset - the auto scale imports different objects at different sizes - not good if you have tables and chairs importing at a different size to the room.

Hang in there, 2D and 3D is possible, you just have to play with the settings to get it all to work. But be warned, it's a steep learning curve.

Rhoel

1]Read some as an under statement.
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DominiqueBray
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Post by DominiqueBray » Thu May 03, 2007 6:36 pm

Ok, let's take "Tutorial 6.8_2.moho" file as example.

If I just translate Lenny to put him behind a part of the 3d object
Image
he still appears in front of that because its layer is above the 3d layer.
Image
And if I put the Lenny layer below the 3d layer, Lenny appears behind the whole 3d object.
Image

So I went to project settings and checked "sort layers by depth" and "sort by true distance". But now, wherever I put the Lenny layer, he appears behind the whole 3d object...
Image

He should appear like that : (fake picture)
Image

This works fine and I have done this.
I am very interested in seeing it.

I am learning Blender two. :wink:
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu May 03, 2007 8:45 pm

==============
EDIT:
Oops!!! The info below is based on using AS vector layers to "fake" 3D using layer rotation and Z translation not imported 3D objects as indicated by the images. My mistake. I am going to leave this here anyway as it may still be useful.
=============


Make sure the character layer is actually in between those 3D elements INSIDE the "3D" layer group. Not "between" in layer order but between in Z depth translation. A layer can change "depth" by animating the Z translation. That is how it can move "between" other layers, but it has to be IN the same group as those layers.

Look for a sample file in the AS folder called "landscape.anme".

It should be located here... "Library/3D Movies/Landscape.anme" in the AS application directory.

This file shows exactly how it's done. Pay attention to the Z translation of the layers. You need to open the Landscape group layer folder and open the Foreground group layer folder to find the Lenny group layer.

You have to scrub through the animation to "find" Lenny but he shows up around frame 50 or so.

-vern
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Gnaws
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Post by Gnaws » Fri May 04, 2007 3:39 am

Put the layers that need to change relative Z-Depth from one another - in the same folder. Allow that folder all the Depth Sort functions.

Then set the (animatable) Z-depth keyframes of each layer by using Alt+Translate Layer tool. Or select the Translate Tool and enter the Z-coordinates manually at their respective keyframes.

This one is tricky, but it's worth understanding. It took me awhile to really understand how it worked, too.

Pls check back or send a file and we'll get you going straight away.
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Rhoel
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Post by Rhoel » Fri May 04, 2007 7:12 am

DominiqueBray wrote:
This works fine and I have done this.
I am very interested in seeing it.
The original file I was working with is in a different studio (I am in Cambodia at the moment, studio is Thailand).

So I recreated the file and I cannot get the same result - I have to assume the original file, a room set, had individual objects(eg, table), which is why I could put the character behind.

As it stands, this looks like a bug and needs to go into the report bugs thread - the depth sorting is not calculating the 3D object depth - Mike is going to love fixing this one :-D
Gnaws wrote:Then set the (animatable) Z-depth keyframes of each layer by using Alt+Translate Layer tool. Or select the Translate Tool and enter the Z-coordinates manually at their respective keyframes.
Though this technique works for placing the layer in the correct depth, the renderer is ignoring the 3D Objects depth queue.

Rhoel
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DominiqueBray
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Post by DominiqueBray » Fri May 04, 2007 1:55 pm

I finally understood : the depth sorting only takes the 3d object's center into account.

Look :

I am still using "Tutorial 6.8_2.moho" file as example.

As long as the Lenny's z value is lower than the 3d object's center, Lenny is behind the whole object.
Image = Image

But as soon as Lenny's z value gets greater than the 3d object's center, Lenny is in front of the whole object !
Image = Image

So, the depth sorting in AnimeStudio only takes the 3d object's center into account, while I think real 3d programs compute each point.
That is enough when you use 2d plans, but can't work properly with 3d objects.
Probably a huge work to implement this feature... I do not think Mike will do if so little people need it...

The original file I was working with is in a different studio
What a shame.
individual objects
Good idea, it can help while waiting.
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Bones3D
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Post by Bones3D » Fri May 04, 2007 7:40 pm

It sounds like you might want to rotoscope 2D animation content into a pre-rendered 3D scene. If you are using an external 3D package, maybe you can have it render certain objects independently from the background using alpha channels (and maybe some shadow catchers) while still preserving the overall 3D animation. Then, create your 2D animation work using the 3D background layer as a tracing image and render it out using alpha channels so you can sandwich the 2D animation layer between the 3D background/foreground animation layers.

It's very rare that both 2D and 3D animation is done in the same application, unless the 2D elements are supposed to have 3D properties to them (such as how South Park's construction paper look is accomplished with Alias Wavefront). Other shows, such as Studio B's "Pucca" series, use the post processing approach mentioned in the paragraph above, by overlaying flash animation onto 3D content.

Both approaches have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it's a good idea to experiment to help determine which method will serve your intended design ideas best.
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jorgy
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Post by jorgy » Sat May 05, 2007 5:09 am

DominiqueBray wrote:
So, the depth sorting in AnimeStudio only takes the 3d object's center into account, while I think real 3d programs compute each point.
That is enough when you use 2d plans, but can't work properly with 3d objects.
One way I've worked around this in the past is to split my 3d objects up. In the Lenny example, you could break it up into the base, and then the "things" that come up off of it. However, if you are baking on lighting, this may be difficult (i.e. shadow on the base).

jorgy
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DominiqueBray
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Post by DominiqueBray » Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:20 pm

Could a moderator move this topic to the "Bug Reports" please ?
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Arkaos
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Post by Arkaos » Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:09 pm

I wouldn't worry so much about the way 2d objects interact with 3d objects in a scene. It will all be rendered as a 2d picture, anyway. If you think about it, I'm sure you'll be able to find a way of replicating the effect you are looking for in the final render.

No matter if you work in a 3d program or a 2d program or a hybrid, there are always ways to overcome the feature limitations and no one single program does everything you think it should, either. Believe me...I know. You just have to think about what your goal is and finding a way to make it look good in the end. Think outside the box (or download if you didn't order the box set). Don't get discouraged.
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J. Baker
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Post by J. Baker » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:43 am

DominiqueBray wrote:Could a moderator move this topic to the "Bug Reports" please ?
It's not a bug. You have to split up your 3D objects. If you have a tree and a landscape, don't save them as one 3D object. Save them as seperate objects then import them in AnimeStudio. This way the landscape can be below and you can place your objects infront or behind others.
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